WIT Press


Development Of An EIA Screening Phase For Biogas Projects In Latvia

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/EID120071

Volume

162

Pages

12

Page Range

75 - 86

Published

2012

Size

2,436 kb

Author(s)

J. Pubule, I. Bergmane, D. Blumberga & M. Rosa

Abstract

One of the main priorities among European Union member states is to promote renewable energy. Latvia also has to comply with the European Parliament and Council Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of renewable energy initiated on 23 April 2009. The directive states that the share of renewable energy has to reach 40 % of total final energy consumption by 2020. Part of this share can be achieved with the energy produced by burning biogas in cogeneration plants. Each domestic activity generates an environmental impact. Before the activity commences, the potential impact of activities has to be assessed. One of the tools that is widely used and is included in the Latvian legislation is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Environmental impact assessments are applied to different objects, where there is a risk that the construction or operation may have a negative impact on the environment, as well as on human health. According to Latvian legislation, the activities, depending on their potential impact, are divided into two parts: the activities for which an EIA has to be completed and activities for which a screening has to be performed. The aim of the screening is to evaluate whether the activities can cause significant effects on the environment. Solely on the basis of the results of the screening a decision is made whether to perform the EIA procedure or not. The definition of the significance of the impact is essential. The defined criteria in the European Union legislation are included in the legislation of Latvia. The criteria specify the minimum range of points to be covered during the screening. Biogas production through anaerobic digestion is considered as one of the most successful methods of dealing with increasing environmental pollution. Heat and electricity are produced by burning biogas in cogeneration plants. A wide variety of inputs can be used to produce biogas: livestock manure, crop

Keywords

EIA, screening, biogas projects, renewable energy, impact significance, Latvia